When's the date, mr leopard?
why all the frills?

rip my heart out

Moral dilemmas all over the place here! First on the agenda are heart cut-out dresses. I am (was?) a huge Luella fan and the last SS10 collection was surely a prim and proper affair, but still in a sickly sweet way. I'd reduced the collection to bows and '50s dresses in my head and looking back it really was a good'un; what a shame it won't get the attention it deserves. But despite there only actually being 2 looks out of the 30 with heart cut-outs, those dresses were the most memorable.

The high street jumped on the trend though and the dilemma is whether to buy into it? Retailers are making money off Luella Bartley's creations and she isn't getting any return. Every high street trend is runway inspired but there's inspiration and then there's rip offs. The first examples are these dresses from Boohoo, the cheapie online retailer. They've hit a great market for fast fashion online at a lower price point, sort of the online Primark. But the models and the fits make me wonder about the quality, and quality worries usually mean ethical worries. The clothes being so trendy and so cheap probably mean they're made in Asia and as it's an online store, it's easier to scrimp on CSR policies. I'll email and hopefully find out how they produce. I'm not keen to spend money in stores that do not have sustainability practices and also rip off designs, which Boohoo might just be doing. I'm not pointing the finger of shame but their styles are certainly runway rips, and possibly too much so. Is it disloyal to Luella, a brand you admire and aspire to, to buy in Boohoo's copies? They are incomparable to the quality and cuts that Luella's dresses would have been and the low price does mean they'll come in synthetic materials or cotton. You have to think though, if you were a retailer, wouldn't you produce at least one item with a heart shaped cut-out, just because they're so cute and buyable?


My soon-to-be favourite UK high street store New Look is a great example of how to satisfy trends but respect designers. I did see a red dress with a heart cut-out at the front set for the teen department, and they've produced a number of women's dresses with heart cut-outs, BUT they're at the back. Ah ha! Inspired, not copied. They could have put the heart at the front but they chose the back, possibly making them more wearable and with better cuts. Some of the hearts on the Boohoo dresses seem to fit funny. New Look is also just as cheap and has good sustainability practices. I saw quite a few of these dresses at the Paris press day so I know they've been in production for a while rather than churned out quickly, causing more damage to the environment.

I'm really keen to invest in one of these dresses but I still don't know! I just think of Luella Bartley looking at girls walking past in dresses that are rightfully her design, from a company she put her passion into that's now gone (hopefully not for long). Of all the brands, Luella should not be missing, but we can't expect brands to survive when we invest in cheaper copies rather than the original. I've been waiting for the dress in the top left hand corner all season and can't wait to find it in store if there are any left! The cups look like they might sit strangely so I'll try before I buy, but the white floral dress is also gorgeous in real life. I spotted it on my trip home and it's made of stiff cotton so it sits well and looks more expensive.

In the end it will come down to a real life decision, although it's tempting to order online so I've got packages waiting for me when I go home. I'm thinking of coming in just two weeks! For good! That sounds crazy but I finish classes very soon and I can just hang around for a bit or save April's rent and come home. I can still travel to visit other Erasmus friends and work at home so it won't be a lazy five month summer; I've applied for lots of things that I'll hopefully be accepted for! There really are a lot of summer programmes out there, I didn't know my Uni offered so many, it's worth a look at. Leaving so soon is a bit unnerving as or one thing, I'll have to fit my whole room into 38kgs and I highly doubt that's going to happen. I don't know what to do with the magazines I've bought here; it's either be optimistic and try to pack them, or accept they'll account for way too much weight and cut them up to save the best editorials? I love to collect magazines so that will be a bit upsetting! Also I've collected a lot of 'crap', you know like the bits and bobs that you tack onto your wall as memories and even lots of beauty products,which all account for weight.

Along the theme of moral dilemmas, I'm a bit worried to leave so early before getting my course grades, as I need to make sure I've completed all my credits. The course I'm taking now is the course from hell, and after a group project including three reports, a final report and two presentations, then there's also a second group ten-page report and an online test. A girl in my group told me a few days ago though that she knows a boy who took the course last term and has the answers to the test, so you can get a least 80%. She said the test was impossibly hard and judging by the course so far, that's understandable. So if I take the test I don't think I'll do very well and I can't afford to fail the subject and have to take another course for two more months. And if I fail I can have no allowance because half the class will have done exceptionally well, so I'll just look like I didn't try hard enough. There's no way I'd use the answers because I'm only in a group with the girl and it's not fair on the rest of the class members if I join the people getting great marks, and also I don't take classes so I can cheat! I really don't want to be in the position of telling the lecturer people already had the answers though, they might have cheated but they didn't think they were going to get caught. Please tell me what would you do, it would really help! Sure I should sort my own problems out now but it feels like things like this will happen throughout your whole life! And what you think of the other dilemmas too, heart dresses are important in life too!

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